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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  May 13, 2010 6:00am-7:00am EDT

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testimony, and this will be part of the record. you have said that we should go back to the moon. and i would like for you to tell us why you believe that returning to the surface of the moon is important, as opposed to flying by the moon or going to other places as we ultimately have the destination to go to mars. . .
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>> there is value in using the moon as a location. there are other positions at lunar distance that can be reached easily. this allows mission control to have the efficiency and safety of the operation.
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we can learn many of the things that are still unknown were developed in our knowledge about interplanetary space travel, particularly things like radiation protection and so on, where we have the possibility to get out of real trouble when we get in because we are so close to home. that is a possibility that we will not have once we find ourselves away from earth. there is great value in continuing to use the moon as an integral part as part of the space exploration program as we go forward the. >> i will close by saying they
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deliberated this on the panel and they pointed out that one of the things that you have to sustain is this support for the american people and what the chairman of the augustine commission wanted to do was to get that the excitement returned and there was a legitimate question raised -- can you get that by going back to the moon? perhaps you can if we know what our goal is. the president has stated that goal. now let's see if we can achieve it. but you all very much. the meeting is adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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>> coming up, president obama and afghan president hamid karzai talk to reporters at the white pass. then today's "road to the white hous"washington journal." attorney general eric holder visits capitol hill to visit the house judiciary committee. you can watch it live beginning at 10:00 a.m. eastern time on c- span 3 and >> every weekend, cspan 2's book tv features nonfiction books. this week we talk about "the reluctance by." spy."
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find the entire weekend schedule at book >> while we can presume to replace justice stevens' wisdom, i believe i have found this an excellent, independence, integrity, and passion for the law and who can ultimately provide the same kind of leadership on the courts. our solicitor a general and my friend, allocated. >> learn more about the nation's highest court from those who served on the bench in cspan's latest book," the supreme court." it provides unique insight about the supreme court, available in hardcover and also as an e-book. >> afghanistan president hamid karzai is on four-day visit to the united states. yesterday, he met with president obama at the white house.
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following their meeting, they held a 15-minute news briefing. >> good morning, please be seated. i am very pleased to welcome president carter is a back to the white house. i also want to welcome -- president hamid karzai back to the white house. this speaks to the deepening partnership between the united states and afghanistan. this is it is an opportunity to return the hospitality that president hamid karzai showed me during my recent visit to afghanistan. that included a wonderful afghan dinner that the president shared
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with us. we were joined by members of his delegation. mr. president, thank you and welcome to the united states. more importantly, this visit is an opportunity for us to assess the progress of our shared strategy in afghanistan and to advance the strong partnership between our two nations, one that is based on mutual interests and mutual respect. i have reaffirmed the commitment of united states to in afghanistan that is stable, strong, and prosperous. afghans are proud people who have suffered and sacrificed greatly because of their determination to shape their own destiny. there is no denying the progress the afghan people have made in recent years in education, health care, and economic development. , as i saw in the lights of kabul when i landed, lights that would not have been visible a few years earlier. we cannot deny the very serious
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challenge is still facing afghanistan. after 30 years of war, afghanistan still faces daily challenges in delivering basic services and security to its people while fighting a brutal insurgency. there will be consequences for the united states and consequences for the entire world. as we have seen it in recent plots in the united states, al- qaida and its extremist allies continued to plot in the border regions between in afghanistan and pakistan and a growing caliban insurgency could mean a larger safe-haven for al-qaida and its components. we are reaffirming our shared goals to disrupt, dismantle, and the ft al-qaida and its extremist allies in afghanistan, pakistan, and to prevent its capacity to threaten america and their allies in the future. we are reviewing the progress of our shared strategy and objectives.
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the military effort to release the taliban's effort to strengthen and there is a civilian ever in afghanistan to get regional cooperation including pakistan because of our strategy has to succeed on both sides of the border. over half of the additional military forces by order to have kasten in december have now arrived with the remainder due this summer. as part of our 46-nation coalition, allies and partners have increased their commitments, as well. we are partnering with afghan and coalition forces and have begun to reverse the momentum of the insurgency. we have taken the fight to the taliban and push them out of the strongholds and are working to get afghans' the opportunity to reclaim their communities. we have taken secretary measures
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to avoid civilian casualties. i have reiterated in my meeting with president hamid karzai that the united states will continue to work with our afghan and international partners to do everything in our power to avoid actions that harm the afghan people. after all, it is the afghan people we are working to protect from the taliban which is responsible for the vast majority of civilian deaths. the training and development of afghan security forces continues so they can begin to take the lead in securing next year. we're working with the afghan government and our allies with a broader framework to guide the transition and responsibility for security, development, and governments in afghan provinces. i have reaffirmed that the united states will be committed to transfer responsibility for detention. to support the second part of our strategy, the civilian effort, more american diplomats and experts are now on the
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ground and partnering with their african counterparts. in his inaugural address, president hamid karzai committed to making good governance a top priority. i want to a acknowledge the progress that has been made including strengthening anti- corruption efforts, improving governments at provincial and district levels, and progress toward credible elections later this year. president hamid karzai and i both the dollars that much more work needs to be done. i also welcome his commitment to take additional steps that can improve the lives of the afghan people in concrete ways, especially with regard to the rule all all, agricultural production, economic growth, and the delivery of basic services. i pledge america's continued support for these efforts and i've asked secretary clinton to leave the american delegation to this summer's kabul conference where the afghan government will
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present concrete plants. on the related subject of afghan peace and reconciliation efforts, i appreciated the president sharing his plans for the upcoming peace meeting. in addition, the united states supports the efforts of the afghan government to open the door to taliban who have cut their ties with al-qaida and except the afghan constitution, including human rights. i look forward to continuing dialogue on these efforts. in support of the final part of our strategy, the regional approach, we discussed the importance afghanistan's neighbors reporting sovereignty and security in afghanistan. i was pleased to host the president of a chemist and and the president of pakistan one year ago and our trilateral car operation.
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the major offensive against the leadership of al-qaida and its allies and balances pakistan, afghan, and americans alike. as we pursue our shared strategy to defeat al-qaida, i am pleased that our two countries are meeting to broaden our strategic partnership or the long term. even as we begin to transition, security responsibilities over to afghans, we will sustain a robust presence going forward. we can partner across the full range of areas including development and agriculture, education and health, rule of law and women's rights. together, we can unleash afghanistan's a vast potential. i was pleased to walk with several remarkable afghan women to our recent entrepreneurship summit in washington. i look forward to formalizing a
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new strategic partnership between our countries later this year and to deepening a lasting friendship between our people. as i have said, there are many difficult days ahead of afghanistan. we face a determined and ruthless enemy, but we go forward with confidence because we have something our adversaries do not -- we have a commitment to seek a picture of justice and peace and opportunity for the afghan people. we have the courage and result of men and women from afghanistan and our international coalition who are determined to help of ken's realize that future. i want to acknowledge the extraordinary sacrifices that are being made by american troops and civilians in afghanistan every single day. solidarity today sent an unmistakable message to those who would stand in the way of afghanistan progress. they may threaten an murder its
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people, but we will work to protect the afghan people. they will try to destroy, but we will continue to help build after incapacitate -- build afghan capacity. they will try to drive us apart but we will partner with the afghan people for the long term, for a future of greater security, prosperity, justice, and progress. i am absolutely convinced we will succeed. that is the work that we have advanced today. i want to thank our partners, president hamid karzai and his delegation to the progress we continue to make in the months ahead president hamid karzai -- >> thank you, mr. president. i am very grateful for the kind hospitality that you and your team offered during this visit to the united states.
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as always, you have been gracious and kind and very hospitable. we begin our visit the day before yesterday with an informal dinner with secretary clinton and secretary gates and yesterday had a meeting with secretary clinton and it was a fruitful meeting of the group of afghan ministries and their counterparts outlining the progress we have made in the past several years and their aspirations for the future and our common objectives towards the future as we go along. mr. president, i yesterday had the honor of visiting walter reed hospital where i visited with the wounded who had returned from afghanistan and from iraq. it was a very difficult moment
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for me, mr. president, to meet with a young man, very, very young man, who had lost two arms and legs. it was heart rendering and there were others wounded, too, just like i have seen in afghanistan. this shows the commitment that the united states has to bring security to afghanistan and by extension to the united states and the rest of the world and the difficult task we have had a generations a better and more secure life. for the excellent meeting this morning. president obama and i discussed the entire structure of afghan/american relationship, the issues that we have together
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in afghanistan, the progress we have made together, the pain that goes on and gives terrorism, the successes of the past years which are numerous and great for which i express gratitude on behalf of the afghan people and to the american people and to you, mr. president. i also thank president obama for adding considerable resources to the success in afghanistan on becoming the president of united states for which mr. president, i express the gratitude of the americas -- afghan people and i can assure you that we will work with dedication and extreme care to have those resources spent well and in place for a better future for the afghan people. we also discussed during our meeting this morning the afghan-
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american strategic-óñ partnershp and the relation towards the future beyond the successes we will certainly gave against terrorism, the issues related to the riccnh gym. region. we discussed the upcoming peace initiative in kabul. i thank you for your very kind advice. we discussed the parliamentary elections and afghanistan. we discussed in detail and in a
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very frank and productive manner the issues of protection of civilians and with respect to the judicial independence of afghanistan i am happy to. convey back to the epoch of people that i found it very supportive voice -- i am happy to convey back to the afghan people that i felt very supportive. we will be setting up a team of our senior advisers to work out the exact time of the transfer of detention centers to the f in people which i consider a major point of progress -- to the afghan people which i consider a major point to progress. mr. president, i once again would like to convey to you and to the people of the united states our deep and heartfelt
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gratitude to the help that america has provided. because of that, afghanistanj_çs improved in a significant way. we once again have a voice for the people of afghanistan and this would not have been possible without the sacrifices and the resources that the united states and her allies have put in. afghanistan is grateful. with your help, we will succeed for the future. there are issues that concern all of us but we have short comings in afghanistan itself. we are still a very poor country. the work we have done promises a future for all of us and we assure you that afghanistan will
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take the right steps to bring a better government to afghanistan and the afghan people in conjunction with the united states of america. i thank you once again, mr. president. [applause] >> thank you. we have time for two questions from the u.s. press and two questions for the afghan press. i will start with cbs-radio. >> gentleman, it sounds as though you have been able to put aside the tensions and frictions that were in evidence a month or so ago. can you tell us if you discussed the concerns that were raised at that time and have you figured out how the relationship may have come off the tracks. mr. president, may i ask you about your talks with the new prime minister of the united
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kingdom yesterday. ? are you worried that the uk support in afghanistan might win? ane? >> i had a conversation with david cameron yesterday. when i travel to england previously, i found him to be a smart, dedicated to, effective leader, and somebody we will be able to work with very effectively. he reaffirmed, without me bring it up, his commitment to our strategy in afghanistan. i am confident that the new government will recognize that it is in the interest of all the coalition partners to help president hamid karzai succeed and build a more prosperous and secure and stable afghanistan
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which in turn will help assure our long-term security. by the way, when i had the conversation with prime minister cameron, we both reaffirmed the extraordinary special relationship between the united states and great britain, one that outlasts any individual parties or individuals leaders. it has been built up over centuries. it will not go away. with respect to proceed to tensions between the u.s. government and the afghan government, let me begin by saying many of them were simply overstated. when i came into office, i made it absolutely clear that i intended to resources and effective strategy in afghanistan and work with the afghan government so that we
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have a strong, stable, and prosperous afghanistan. i used whatever political capital i had to make the case to the american people that this is in our national security interest an absolutely critical that we succeed of this mission. president hamid karzai agrees that we have to deal with the extremists who are disrupting life in afghanistan and our strategic approach has been entirely consistent. obviously, there+d will be tensions in such a complicated and difficult environment, in a situation in which on the ground, both afghans and americans are making enormous
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sacrifices. we have had very frank discussions and president hamid karzai agrees with me that we can winthrop -- we can't win through a military strategy alone. we have to make sure we have effective governance, capacity building, economic development in order for us to succeed. what we discussed this morning is a recognition on both sides that this transformation will not happen overnight. a country that has come out of 30 years of war and dire party -- and dire poverty will not suddenly change across the board. our job is to be a good friend and to be frank with president hamid karzai in saying that this is where we need to put more effort. president hamid karzai's job is to represent his country and to
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insist that its sovereignty is properly respected even as he goes about the hard task of bringing about these changes in his government and economy. i am very comfortable with the strong efforts that he has made thus far i think that we both agree we will have to make more efforts in the future. there will be setbacks. there will be times when our governments disagree on a particular tactic, but i am confident that we share a broad strategy, one that i hope we can memorialize in a declaration by the end of this year. >> the relationship between afghanistan and the united
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states is in its 10th year. this is since september 11, 2001. this is not an imaginary relationship. this is a real relationship based on very hard and difficult realities. we are in a campaign together. there are days that we're happy and there are days we are not happy. this is a mutual relationship. this is towards a common objective. there are definitely days in which we have had differences of opinion and definitely days in which we have differences of opinion but the relationship between the two governments and two nations is strong and very routed and has endured the past
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10 years of extreme activity on both sides. i believe what you saw in the past few months is reflective of a deep and strong relationship. there are moments that we speak frankly to each other and that frightens us -- and that frankness2 s to the relationship we have. the bottom line is that we are much more strongly related to each other today than we ever were before in this relationship. that is a good message that i will take back to the afghan people the day after tomorrow.
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>> thank you very much. i'm a correspondent from afghanistan. i'm not talking is a woman in afghanistan. as long as i have remembered, there are reasons that afghanistan is not civilized. you have talked about pakistan. the pakistan government is not honest regarding afghanistan. what is the new policy of the united states to solve this problem.
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i want to ask president hamid karzai, as well. [speaking farsi] thank you. >> i know you will translate that for us. [laughter] he is very good. [laughter] president hamid karzai and i have in the past met with the pakistani president. t, as well as their teams and emphasized to pakistan but fact that our security is intertwined.
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i think there has been, in the past, a view on the part of pakistan that their primary rival, india, was their only concern. i think what you have seen over the last several months is a growing recognition that they have a cancer in their midst, that the extremist organizations that have been allowed to congregate and use as a base the frontier areas to then go into afghanistan, that that now threatens pakistan's sovereignty. our goal is to break down some of the old suspicions and the old bad habits and continue to work with the pakistani government to see their interest in a stable afghanistan which is
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free from foreign meddling and that afghanistan, pakistan, the united states, and the international community should all be working to reduce the influence of extremists in those regions. i am actually encouraged by what i have seen from the pakistani government over the past several months. just as it will take some time for afghanistan's economy to fully recover from 30 years of war, it will take some time for pakistan, even where there is a will, to find a way in order to effectively deal with these extremists in areas that are fairly loosely governed from islamabad. part of what i have been
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incurred by pakistan's willingness to exert more control over some of these areas. it will not happen overnight. they have been taking enormous casualties, the pakistani military. they have gone fairly aggressively. this will be an ongoing project. president hamid karzai and i discussed the fact that the only way, ultimately, that pakistan is secure is it the afghanistan is secure. the only way that afghanistan is secure is if the sovereignty and territorial integrity that the afghan constitution and death and people are respected by their neighbors. we think that message is starting to get through. that is one we have to continue to promote. >> ma'am, we did discuss civilian casualties.
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i must report to you that since the arrival of general the crystal and afghanistan, there has been considerable progress made in this area. there is an openness about that. the president expressed fundamentally in human terms is concerned about civilian casualties, not only as a political issue, but as a human issue.
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we not only discuss the ways and means of reducing civilian casualties, night rates were discussed, i remarked about this in my opening remarks. you will see the agreement between us on this reflected in the joint communique that has already been issued. >> thank you mr. president. with billions of dollars and paid and many troops in afghanistan, can you talk to the american people and give us a sense of where we stand and how close we are to winning this war in afghanistan and whether or not you'll be able to meet your goal pulling out the majority of u.s. troops by july of 2011?
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to president hamid karzai, is there anything you can do, your government or people, to maintain that deadline, the endgame of july, 2011? have you found your meetings with the iranian president to be helpful or harmful in your relationship with the obama administration? thank you. >> first of all, let's be clear about what july, 2011 represents. what i have said is that putting in more troops over the last several months in order to break the momentum of the tell a ban that beginning in 2011, july, we will start bringing those troops down and turning over more and more responsibility to the afghan security forces we are building up. but we are not suddenly, as of
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july, 2011, finished with afghanistan. in fact, to the contrary, what i have tried to emphasize to president hamid karzai and the afghan people and american people that this is a long-term partnership. this is not simply defined by our military presence. i am confident we will be able to reduce our troop strength in afghanistan started in july, 2011. i am in constant discussions with general mcchrystal about the execution of that time frame. but after july, 2011, we are still going to have an interest in making sure that afghanistan is secure, that economic development is taking place, that could governance is being promoted, and so we will still put in resources and will still be a friendy"ñ to the afghan pe in their efforts to stabilize.
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that is something that i want to make absolutely clear. the american people should know about we are steadily making progress. it is not overnight. it will not be instance. the sacrifices that those young people that president hamid karzai visit at walter reed, those sacrifices results over time and more and more of afghanistan being under control of the afghan government and our friend and ally, president hamid karzai, and less and less under the control of the telegram. taliban. this will not just be a military operation.
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through all the mechanisms, more and more, the afghan people will start to feel confident in the afghan government. as their confidence in the afghan government grows, their fear of the taliban weakens and we are confident that that approach that has a strong military component, that is mindful of the enormous sacrifices that our troops and their families are making, that component is critical, but these other components will be critical as well. if we marry those two approaches, we are optimistic about success. there will be ups and downs. one thing i have tried to emphasize is the fact that there will be hard fighting over the next several months. the fact that we are engaged in
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a place like marja, the taliban controls that area. when you move in and, they will fight. -- when you move in, they will fight. this is a model of the partnership between u.s. forces and afghan forces. you are starting to see afghan government forces battle ready, toughened, getting more experience. that helps us to execute a transition so that more and more afghan forces are able to take the lead. this will take some time. one last point i want to make -- president of the cars i've referred to civilian casualties. -- president hamid karzai
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referred to civilian casualties. )ewhen there is a civilian casualty, that is not just a political problem for me. i am ultimately accountable, just as a general mcchrystal is accountable for some on the battlefield who gets killed. that is something i have to carry with me. anybody who is involved in the military operation has to carry with them. we do not take that lightly. we have an interest in reducing civilian casualties not because it is a problem for president hamid karzai. it is because i do not want civilians killed. we will do everything we can to prevent that. war is tough and difficult mistakes will be made in our
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troops put themselves at risk often times in order to reduce civilian casualties. they will take a chance in a field of battle where they are trying to deal with on certain information and they are not sure whether that is an attack coming or which house shots are being fired from. because of the general's direction, they hesitate or they are being cautious about how they operate. they are cautious because part of what the military -- american military stands for is we distinguish between civilians and combatants. that is something our enemies do not do. that puts us more at risk and makes it more difficult. that is a burden we are willing to bear.
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i want everyone to be clear -- i take no pleasure in hearing a report that a civilian has been killed. that is not what i ran for president. that is not what i am commander in chief. that is not what our young and -- young men and women signed up. that is not why they sacrifice. we will work together as assiduously as we can to make sure those civilian casualties are reduced, even as we try to accomplish the mission. we remind ourselves constantly that the overwhelming majority of civilian casualties in afghanistan are a consequence of terrorist acts by the taliban. >> ma'am, on the july, 2011 --
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afghanistan's army and police are progressing steadily. they are strengthening and institutionalizing. we plan to be conducting an providing security for our country in major parts of the country within the next two years. by the time of my term of office completes in four years from today, afghanistan is working hard to provide security for all of the country. this is to afghan means and security institutions. on the overall picture,
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president obama spoke on the issue of july, 2011. on the question of iran and my meeting with president mahmoud ahmadinejad and his visit to kabul, afghanistan's position is very clear from the very first day. we take care with their counterparts and neighbors. afghanistan is a partner and a friend with the united states. the united states is our greatest contributor to stability and reconstruction as the provider of 80% of the support that afghanistan receives.
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afghanistan's desire to engage in a strong and steady and long- term relationship with america is one that will express clearly -- that we will express clearly and publicly and repeatedly. we of spoken with their american counterparts from the very beginning that iran is our neighbor and a brother and we will not have the best relations with them. they have had contributions to the afghanistan reconstruction. we wish that afghanistan remains friendly to both. we don't want to be seen as a playground by our neighbors in any way. the united states has been very clear unsupportive and understanding of our position. this has been reflected in the discussions between us and the
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declaration and the thecommunique with afghanistan having friendly relations with our neighbors and i ran as one of our neighbors. we're clear on our relations with america and iran, as well. we wish both countries the best amateurs anything we can do to make things better, call us. [laughter] ma'am -- >> i am from the afghanistan service. i will ask president hamid karzai a question and then president obama. one of the purposes of your trip here is to gain the support of the u.s. government for reconciliation and immigration of the taliban in afghanistan.
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when you first an issue with this, -- when you first initiated this, you are in low- level talks with the taliban. they made it clear that the only way for them to talk to the afghan government is a complete withdrawal of foreign troops from afghanistan and the creation of a sahari sharia-bas government in that country. will this be successful? a question for president obama would be that secretary clinton yesterday mentioned that you would support this initiative only if the taliban put their weapons down and respected the afghan constitution and cut off ties with al-qaida.
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it is hard to differentiate between the two in afghanistan and pakistan, fighting as a united force in those countries. do you think this is a viable strategy for afghanistan? >> ma'am, exactly the last part of your question is my answer. [laughter] afghanistan is seeking peace because through military means alone, we will not get to our objectives of bring stability and peace to afghanistan and stop the future of terrorism. there are thousands of taliban who are not ideologically oriented and not part of al- qaida. they are not controlled from outside in a troublesome matter to us. there are thousands of them who
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been driven by intimidation. it is these thousands of taliban who are not against afghanistan or the people or the country or against america. they want to come back to afghanistan. it is this group of the taliban that we are addressing.
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they are ready to march ahead for the benefit of their people. the peace initiative is intended for them to take advice on how and at what speed should the afghan government to proceed. >> i think president hamid karzai summed it up well. we have been very clear that we need ultimately a political component to our overarching strategy in afghanistan. as he described, the taliban is a loose term for a wide range of different networks, groups, fighters with different
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motivations. what we have said is that so long as there is a respect for the afghan constitution, rule of law, human rights and as long as they are willing to renounce violence and ties to al-qaida and other extremist networks that president hamid karzai should be able to reintegrate those individuals into afghan society. this has to be an afghan-led effort. this is not one dictated by the united states or any other outside power. i think that the peace jurga will allow for a framework to move forward. the incentives for the taliban
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to lay down arms or a portion of them to lay down arms and make peace with the afghan government in part depends of our effectiveness -- depends on our effectiveness of the momentum militarily. that is why we put in the additional u.s. troops. that is why general mcchrystal is working so hard to clear out key population centers from taliban control. the timing on how the reconciliation process works and how the taliban makes calculations as to what is in their interest will be depended on our success in terms of carrying out our mission there. we are an important partner in
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facilitating this potential reconciliation and empowering the afghan government so that it is in the strongest possible position as these talks move forward. let me just say in conclusion, mr. president, i am grateful for your visit. this is a reaffirmation of the friendship between the american people and the afghan people. when i came into office, i made it very clear that after years of some draft in the relationship that i saw this as a critical relationship. i said to the american people this would take time. it was going to be hard. we were not going to see magical transformations immediately but would slow, steady, persistent work on the part of both the united states and the afghan government, i was confident that in fact we could
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achieve peace and stability and security there and ultimately it would make the american people more safe and more secure. i am more convinced than ever that we have found it difficult but appropriate strategy for pursuing those goals. i am confident we will be able to achieve our mission. theregiká will be setbacks. there will be times when the gap and government and the u.s. government disagree tactically. our overarching approach is unified and i think by this invitation and his willingness to listen to our concerns as we listen to his, this makes the relationship stronger. thank you very much, everybody. [applause]
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> today, "washington journal" is live next. , later, live coverage of the house as they sign a bill on technology research. in half an hour, the congressman discusses the visit of president hamid karzai. we will talk with a reporter of "environment and energy daily." we will look at


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